Vegan Runny Yolk Eggs Debut In Los Angeles Restaurants
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Amid the largest avian flu outbreaks in history, Yo Egg is offering Los Angeles-area consumers an alternative: vegan whole-poached eggs.
Israel’s Yo Egg has made its U.S. debut in Los Angeles at six area restaurants including two Real Food Daily locations and its offshoot, Junkyard Dog, as well as longtime east side vegan staple Flore, the popular outposts Swingers Diner and Coyote Grill, and Loma Linda’s Vegan District Asian Eatery.
“We thought if we’re here to conquer brunch and breakfast and to own that space, then L.A. is probably the best place to start,” Yo Egg cofounder and CEO Eran Groner recently told Fast Company.
‘Tastes just like chicken eggs’
Yo Egg says that unlike any other egg alternative on the market, its egg features a runny yolk and tastes just like chicken eggs. The eggs are made from chickpeas and soy.
Chef Yosefa Ben Cohen developed the eggs to deliver flavor and functionality with restaurants and home chefs in mind.
Yo Egg says it has already reached price parity with premium eggs, and says it will be able to rival conventional egg prices in just a few years. But consumers are already paying premiums for conventional eggs as the avian flu outbreak shows no sign of slowing down.
“It will work in our benefit to remove the animals from the food system,” Groner told Fast Company. “Because then we won’t see price hikes, we’ll use way less natural resources, and we’ll minimize the use of antibiotics and the danger of animal-borne diseases.”
Bird flu outbreak
As of last month, the deadly bird flu (H5N1) saw 60 million birds dead in North America from the outbreak either from infection or culling. Globally, nearly 150 million have died, according to the World Organization for Animal Health.
The spread of H5N1 has led to widespread egg shortages, driving up the price of eggs and limiting purchases in some stores, sending consumers in search of alternatives.
Yo Egg says it fills that gap with its sustainable and affordable plant-based egg. “Yo Egg is a huge step forward for plant-based foods, as the world moves towards a food system that does not rely on conventional animal agriculture, and avoids their associated pandemics, price fluctuations and environmental concerns,” the company said in a statement.
The new poached egg is being tested in LA restaurants with a range of recipes from a ramen bowl and eggs benedict to poached in toast, in chilaquiles, and in fried rice.
“This product tastes just like an egg. It looks like an egg. The texture and flavor and color, everything is just like an egg. The animal is a middleman that we don’t really need,” Groner said. “It only adds complexity.”
More and more companies are innovating chicken egg alternatives. Last month, another plant-based whole egg startup launched its hard-boiled alternative at Whole Foods stores across the US. Texas-based Crafty Counter makes its Hard Boiled WunderEggs from natural ingredients like cashews, almonds, and coconuts.
And last week, Californian precision fermentation The EVERY Co, which makes egg proteins from microbes, welcomed Hollywood actor Anne Hathaway as an investor.